In the mid-1980's research by various industry groups reveal the millions of counterfeit fasteners had been installed that did not conform to industry standards. The risk posed by these parts led Congress to pass the Fastener Quality Act of 1990 and later revisions. Fastener manufacturers and distributors must comply with the requirements of this legislation.
Complex Product Characteristics – Fasteners can have many features that must be used to describe items such as size, length, thread configuration, material that it is made out of, coatings, usage and more.
- Adequate capability of defining product characteristics.
- Ability to quickly search for characteristics.
- Ability to handle fractions or 4 or more decimal places.
Varying Unit of Measure – Fasteners can be bought, stocked, sold and picked in different units of measure such as pallet, keg, ¼ keg, cases, boxes, bags, and eaches.
- Item measures must be flexible and be able to handle many different unit of measures.
- Manage SKU by various unit of measures.
- Handle the unit of measure conversion through the entire fulfillment process.
Request for Quotations – fluctuations in commodity prices such as copper and other specialty metals can have a dramatic effect on the cost and selling price of items. Distributors must be able to quickly and efficiently find the right source at the right price to satisfy their customer’s needs.
- Ability to efficiently issue request for quotations.
- Ability to track and manage the quotation process.
- Ability to issue purchase orders for the best quote.
Manage the importation of product – Many fastener distributors import product from foreign suppliers. They must be able to:
- Optimize the lading of containers to minimize costs.
- Track containers during the shipping process.
- Account for all shipping costs as “landed costs."
Track Outside Processing – Distributors will send parts out for additional processing such as plating or cutting operations.
- Track inventory movement.
- Account for costs of outside processes.
Complex Warehouse Operations – Quality management of parts is critical. Know where the inventory is in the warehouse is critical as well. Efficient warehouse operations is critical to the profitability of the distributor.
- Lot control and traceability.
- Bin Locations and Put-away accuracy are critical.